By Howard Dayton
Everyone needs a financial “life map.” Follow these seven biblical basics to unlock the door to super-natural help.
1. Have A Spending Plan
First, save $1,000 for emergencies. For two reasons: You must establish the habit of saving, and emergencies are inevitable. “The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets” (Proverbs 21:20, LB).
2. Get Out Of Debt
First, pay off credit cards. Credit cards are the equivalent of financial quick-sand. Use the snowball strategy: Accelerate the payment on your smallest high-interest card. After you pay it off, apply its payment to the next smallest card. After the second card is paid off, apply what you were paying on the first two toward the third, and so on. Also, increase savings to one month’s living expenses. “The borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7 NKJV).
3. Stay Out Of Debt
There are two objectives in this step. First pay off all consumer debt. Use the snowball strategy outlined for credit cards. Second, increase savings to three month’s living expenses. “Owe no one anything” (Romans 13:8 NKJV).
4. Save For Major Needs.
These items include home, auto and other major purchases like education. If you are not in a position to fund any part of your children’s education, don’t feel guilty. Research the grant and work opportunities that abound. “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty” (Proverbs 21:5 NKJV).
5. Reduce Your Mortgage; Invest
Buy an affordable home, one for which you have saved a down payment of at least 20 percent. Keep total housing expenses below 40 percent of your gross income. Spend less than you earn and regularly invest the surplus. “The man who speculates is soon back to where he began with nothing” (Ecclesiastes 5:13 LB).
6. Realize Your Goals
Put your estate plan in order. Estate planning is a crucial financial or legal matter in which you decide how to distribute your assets and prepare your heirs for what they will receive. “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence” (Proverbs 8:12 NKJV).
7. Enjoy Your Stewardship
Enjoy the fruit of handling properly the money God entrusted to you! Ensure that your retirement is funded, and be more generous. Whether or not God chooses to bless us with wealth, our treasure should be in Him. “`Well done, good and faithful servant!”‘ (Matthew 25:21 NKJV).
Article “Seven Steps To Financial Freedom” written by Howard Dayton is excerpted from New Man Magazine: Finance Male Matters the 2007 September/October edition.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”